5 Things I Did as a Teenager That I Regret Now

teen scientistsIf you were to say, "I never did anything stupid when I was a teenager," I would be forced to call you a liar. Then things would get weird, because we don't know each other that well and I had just made our encounter exceptionally tense. I stand by all of it. Even Madonna, the queen of the outrageous, the original definition of "YOLO," probably cringes when she thinks about those naked pictures of her Madgesty taken when she was 18.

When you're a teenager, everything you do is a deliberate, studied attempt to see how much you can get away with without dying or getting arrested. You're not a rebel without a cause, so much as you're a soft-brained, willful, energetic scientist. Life is a game of cause and effect and damned if you don't plan on running multiple experiments to prove your hypothesis.


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Everybody regrets something they did when they were a teenager. When I say "regret," I don't mean that if we could go back, we'd do it differently. For most us, the mistakes (cheese-alert) are part of the journey that's brought us to who we are today.

That doesn't mean we don't look back at old photos and cringe, praying the floor will open up and swallow us. I mean, come on Madonna -- that floppy hat and resting your bare-butt on some driftwood? Bet you're cringing right now, legend or not. Awkward. While my past involves far less nudity, I've totally got things I regret. Here are five such items from my teen years.

1. Flashing Traffic From an Overpass

This is as risque as I get. Flashing oncoming traffic with a group of friends. I was so scared that I'm sure no one even saw my bra, just my fish-belly white tum. Nice.

2. Ruining All of My Jeans

My jeans were all awful to begin with. I made them worse by widening the legs and inserting swathes of old novelty bedding to make bell-bottoms. I couldn't sew and looked like a Siamese Fighting Fish every time I moved my legs.

3. Obsessing

I loved one dude so much I used to bike back and forth in front of his house hoping he'd see me and realize we were in love in spite of my copious sweat. I loved another enough to write him an epic, awful, mortifying love-email and then not understand his "thanks, but no thanks" response.

4. Wearing Bras to Bed

Oh the years of misery before I learned that true comfort was flopping my boobs around in sheer, sloppy comfort while lolling about beneath my duvet.

5. The X-Files

While I maintain that the truth is out there, I might not wear a shirt proclaiming this statement to a school dance. Just sayin'.

What do you regret from your teenage years?


Image via jf/cultura/Corbis

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